Balance of Powers and the War Powers Resolution
For this assignment, you will prepare a debate papercovering an issue that involves the balance of powers between the executive andthe legislative branches: The War Powers Resolution.
Write a 4- to 5-page debate paper that address thefollowing:
You are serving an internship with a candidate running forCongress. She has asked you to help her prepare for a series of debates overcentral topics facing the nation. In the first section of the debate paper, youwill provide the most powerful argument possible in favor of one side of thedebate, and then you will do the same for the other side. Finally, you willwrite a critique of the side of the issue with which you disagree.
The War Powers Resolution requires the president to notifyCongress when he or she sends troops into combat and requires the president towithdraw them within 60 days if Congress does not approve of the actions. Theexecutive branch has never acknowledged the constitutionality of this law.
In the paper, you will debate whether the scope of the WarPowers Resolution should be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which hasrefused to hear challenges made by members of Congress to force the presidentto abide by the law. When addressing this topic, you must think carefully aboutthe roles of all three branches of government and about the processes that ledto the passage of and that support the current status of the War PowersResolution. Your candidate’s debates will take place before an audience of thegeneral public, so be sure to explain the roles of the three branches ofgovernment and the current implications of the War Powers Resolution clearly.
Research the topic.
Being able to apply information-literacy skills in studyingpolitics is critical. Access the Internet to research and learn about the WarPowers Resolution and the debates surrounding it. Consider your sourcescarefully when you research, keeping the following points in mind:
- Primarysources, such as government websites, will be more informative and lesssubjective than secondary sources.
- Checkthe reference lists or sources of any secondary online source you find,such as a journal or newspaper article. Has the author provided solidbackground for the opinions he or she expresses?
- Do notaccept the opinions of any individual secondary source without question.Consider the site where you found the source. What is its primary purpose?Who is its intended audience?
Write a paper in favor of current practices.
Demonstrate that you can apply an understanding ofgovernment processes to analyze contemporary politics. Begin by writing thefirst part of the paper that argues in favor of the president taking libertieswith the War Powers Resolution. Make a case for why the Supreme Court shouldnot hear a challenge to this law.
- Discusshow formal and informal processes result in public policy, which is whythe president should be free to interpret the War Powers Resolution.
- Defendthe ways in which the current president and recent presidents haveinterpreted the War Powers Resolution.
- Supportthe idea that even though, as a rule, single individuals should not havegreat impact on the political environment, the president is an exception.
Write a paper against current practices.
Now write a section of the paper that argues that theSupreme Court should hear a challenge to the War Powers Resolution. Make a casefor why a president’s free interpretation of the War Powers Resolution shouldbe challenged.
- Brieflyexplain the nature of the law at hand and the history and processesleading up to its passage.
- Clearlystate why the scope of the law should be definitively decided and how thehistorical development of the United States affects such contemporarypolitical decisions.
- Explainhow the Supreme Court interacts with Congress and elaborate on how thisinteraction (or lack of interaction) explains the processes of government.
- Discussthe idea that the president is one individual and, as such, should nothave such an impact on the political environment.
Write a critique.
Now that you have made a strong argument for each side,critique or challenge the argument with which you disagree. Address itsstrongest points, and explain why you disagree with that view.
In summary, be sure to include the following:
- Anargument for maintaining current practices
- Anargument for changing current practices
- Acritique of the side with which you disagree